“Banh cuon” (steamed rolled pancakes) has been named among the best dishes from around the world in 2023 by the Australian online daily Traveller. It also put “banh cuon” among three must-try dishes during any trip to Vietnam.
“Banh cuon” can be found all around Vietnam but each region has variations in ingredients, cooking methods, and taste. In the northern province of Cao Bang, rolled pancakes are eaten with pork bone broth instead of fish sauce, as in Hanoi.
Big sheets of steamed rice noodles are made before they are wrapped around savoury fillings and served with herbs, sauce, with “cha que” (orange-coloured, roasted cinnamon sausage) to boost the taste.
“Banh cuon” is made with rice flour and a lot of skill. Minced pork and wood ear mushrooms are rolled into the rice sheet, and the dish is served with a dipping sauce, “cha que”, or charcoal-grilled meat, as with Phu Ly steamed rolled rice pancakes in the northern province of Ha Nam.
Hanoi steamed rolled rice pancakes can be divided into two types - one with stuffing and one with no stuffing. Thanh Tri rolled pancakes are paper thin and don’t have stuffing, but are served with “cha que”.
“Banh cuon” are rolled with minced pork and wood ear mushrooms and served with herbs, fried onions, sauce, “cha que”, or charcoal-grilled meat. The pancakes are dipped in diluted fish sauce to boost the taste.